Robbie Keen of California had to wait until his final college football game to kick a game-winning field goal.
Keen's 24-yard field goal with 2:17 remaining Saturday gave the West a 24-21 victory over the East in the 66th annual East-West Shrine game."I've had to kick three game-winning field goals in my career, and this is the first time I've made one," said Keen, who flubbed his only shot at a game-winner this season as Cal settled for a tie with Southern Cal.
The East trailed from the opening minutes until Henry Jones of Illinois intercepted a pass by San Diego State's Dan McGwire and ran 39 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown, tying the score 21-21 with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
"It was a three-step drop, and I just timed it right," Jones said. "It was a big gamble. If I miss it, we're in big trouble."
Roman Phifer, a linebacker from UCLA, intercepted a halfback pass by Louisiana State's Harvey Williams at the East 41 to set up the West's final drive.
The West moved to the 5 on an 11-yard pass from Bill Musgrave of Oregon to Stanford's Ed McCaffrey, setting up a first-and-goal situation. However, the East stuffed three running plays, and the West settled for Keen's deciding field goal.
On its final possession, the East drove to the West 21 before UCLA's Eric Turner intercepted a pass by Brett Favre of Southern Mississippi at the 10.
"I saw it coming all the way," Turner said. "I just stepped in front of him."
Musgrave and McGwire each threw touchdown passes and Aaron Craver ran for a score as the West won for the fourth time in the last five Shrine games. McGwire was intercepted three times and Musgrave once.
"It's what you do the whole season," said McGwire, who completed 13 of 21 for 156 yards and a touchdown. "I don't think my three interceptions will kill me (in the NFL draft). I almost threw the game out the window with the three interceptions, but the defense came back and played well."
McGwire completed 13 of 21 attempts for 156 yards and one touchdown, and Musgrave hit 11 of 19 for 130 yards.
Favre, a late replacement for Virginia's Shawn Moore, completed 15 of 26 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. He also ran for a touchdown.
"If I didn't play today, we were in trouble," Favre said. "Browning Nagle (the East's other quarterback) has been hurt. . . . I wasn't supposed to be here a week ago."
Favre and McCaffrey, who caught six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, were named the co-offensive players of the game.
Rob Thomson of Syracuse, named the game's outstanding defensive player, had two interceptions and Louis Riddick of Pittsburgh had another for the East.
Lyneil Mayo, a linebacker from San Jose State, recovered a first-quarter fumble and blocked a punt midway through the third quarter for the West.
The West took a 21-7 lead when Musgrave connected with McCaffrey for a 41-yard touchdown with 7:19 left in the second quarter. McCaffrey made a leaping catch at the 2-yard line down the left sideline and fell over the flag at the goal line for the score.
"He (the referee) took a lot of time to put up his hands (and signal a touchdown)," McCaffrey said. "I looked down and saw I was in the end zone, and I was wondering why his hands weren't up."
Favre got the East within 21-14 with a 7-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left in the first half. Favre faked a handoff, rolled to his right, and pump-faked once before reaching the end zone untouched.
Favre had pulled the East within 14-7 with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Lamonde Russell of Alabama. Russell caught the ball at the West's 10, had it wrestled away by Washington's Chucky Mincy, but recovered the ball in the end zone for the score.
McGwire's scoring pass was a 20-yarder to Andy Boyce of Brigham Young at 5:48 of the first quarter. Boyce caught the ball at the 12, sidestepped a fallen Louis Riddick of Pittsburgh, then faked out Florida's Jim Spencer inside the 5 to score easily.
Craver scored the West's first touchdown on a 4-yard run 2:14 into the game.